MADAMA BUTTERFLY | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Puccini's Madama Butterfly tells the story of Cio-Cio-san, a poor 15-year-old geisha (nicknamed Butterfly) who marries a callous American naval officer (Pinkerton) and renounces her religion, causing her family to disown her. The first act is filled with rapturous husband-and-wife duets, but Pinkerton abandons Butterfly, and in the second act, three years later, she sings the achingly tender "Un Bel Di Vedremo" ("One Fine Day We Shall See"), imagining his return. When he does, in act three, it's with a new American bride. Though Butterfly has had Pinkerton's child, she agrees to let the couple raise him, resigned to her fate. She sings a heart-wrenching final aria to her son--"Tu, Tu, Piccolo Iddio" ("You, You, My Little God")--before committing hara-kiri. The role of Butterfly, with its delicacy, strength, and passion, is a perfect fit for silken-voiced American soprano Patricia Racette, who was riveting at the Lyric Opera this past season as Liu in Turandot and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues. This concert performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Apollo Chorus of Chicago (under the baton of Ravinia music director James Conlon) also features mezzo-soprano Ning Liang, tenor James Valenti, and baritone Fred Burchinal. a 7:30 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay & Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, $10-$75. A --Barbara Yaross


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Barbara Yaross

  • Soundboard: July 7-13

    Soundboard: July 7-13

    Archers of Loaf, Yob, Tinariwen, Mount Moriah, Emmylou Harris, and other notable shows
    • Jul 7, 2011
  • The List: February 3-9, 2011

    The List: February 3-9, 2011

    Critics' Choices and other notable shows
    • Feb 3, 2011
  • The List: November 25 - December 1, 2010

    The List: November 25 - December 1, 2010

    Critics' Choices and other notable shows: Richie Hawtin, Syl Johnson, Bruno Mars, Blind Guardian, Jenny Scheinman's Mischief & Mayhem, and more
    • Nov 25, 2010
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
King Hedley II Court Theatre
September 12
Performing Arts
Blue Stockings Den Theatre
September 13

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories